Freedom of the Seas Cruise Review by BJzink
- Sail Date: October 2016
- Destination: Western Caribbean
I chose a Promeade cabin, had one 8 years ago & liked it then - an inside with a view. This time I was traveling with my daughter & this cabin seemed much smaller - difficult to walk around (definitely we could not pass each other). There was surprisingly very nice storage & lots of hangers. The bathroom was tiny, but I liked not to deal with a high tub wall - shower only. The beds were comfortable exceept for the funky bedspread/duvet, which I determined was a mattress pad inside a duvet cover - really heavy & if I took it off there was only a top sheet. I had requested when registering x 2 to have the beds separated, and the RCCL representatives assured me that they would be that way when we arrived, not true. So we had to wait until the steward fixed them (assumed he would be in promptly) to unpack with our bags on the beds. It took him until after dinner. He was very polite, but seemed so rushed & stressed with all the cabins he had. I never saw him with an assisstant. No ice bucket or glasses in the room. I guess I could have asked for things, but didn't want to add to his work. Only liquid soap in the shower, no shampoo or conditioner. Towels were not very thick or absorbent. The window seat was good to look out at the Promenade, but they didn't have the parades like I saw on the Mariner.
Dining - Our person who arranged for the cruse had asked for 2 smaller tables in the MDR for our group dinners. Was assured that we would have one for 5 persons & one for 6 ( we are older & some have hearing difficulty), and of course this didn't happen either. So we were stuck with a table for 11, so hard to get in & out of the chairs. We did sit in different seats each night to be able to converse with everyone. The food choices were a hit one night, not so much on the next. The bright light at the dining experience was our server, Rose, and her assistant Deron (?sp). They were both fantastic. We did eat breakfast most mornings (not all together) in the MDR, and the service was not so good. There was a buffet set up which was great for those people who didn't order from the menu, but menu items took at least 20", which they warned you about. And we had to ask for coffee & water refills, pastries, etc. The Lido Buffet was hit & miss. We went there for lunch, tried to wait until the crowds lessened, but that didn't seem to happen until after 1:30 or so. Food was OK, nothing stood out.
Embarkation was really fast. But the cabins weren't ready until 2:00P. We were early enough to get a table at Sorrentos, in the promenade, pretty good pizza, and desserts.
Enrichment activities - really didn't see any presentations on history or culture of the Caribbean islands. If they were in the daily newsletter, I missed them.
Entertainment - This was very good for the most part. Great orchestra & sing/dance ensemble. The one comedian we saw was really entertaining (last night). Ice show was not to be missed!
Public rooms - depended on whether something popular was happening. Trivia, for example in the Schooner Bar, was standing room only. A thousand people trying to get in there just didn't work. Same with the Promenade when they had special events like 70's night, couldn't even move. The Library was a slap in the face for those of us who want a quiet place to read. It was about the size of one of the large suite cabins, situated between the banks of elevators so it was like a foyer. Half of the books were in languages other than English, and very few in number. There were a few board games available - nice desk for an attendant, but I never saw anyone there.
Onboard experience - was good on Port days, constant crowds & lines on the others.
Same for elevators.
Service was Hit & miss. The staff tried hard, but it was so obvious that they are stretched too thin to give great service.
Port excursions - did not do any ship-sponsored excursion. Unfortunately for those passengers who did, it rained on 3 of the 4 port days. We did get off the ship to just walk around & shop & have to say the tender service to/from Grand Cayman was very, very quick & organized. It would have been nice to have cold washcloths & water/lemonade at the ship when we returned.
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